The Deer Initiative

Project Poacher


Published date: 06/03/2017

Following the success of Project Trespass*, the scheme was relaunched as Project Poacher at the recent UK Wildlife Crime Enforcers’ Conference.

Glynn Evans Head of BASC’s Game and Deer department is the plan owner of the England and Wales Poaching Priority Group. BASC have brought together relevant organisations (including the DI) and police officers with expertise in poaching issues to work together to tackle the issue of poaching.

Pictured are representatives of the various organisations involved with the Poaching Priority Delivery Group (E&W) including (BASC), the Angling Trust (AT), the Countryside Alliance (CA), the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), the Deer Initiative (DI), the Environment Agency (EA), the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO), National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU), North Wales Police, Cheshire Police and Lincolnshire Police.

These organisations are best placed to represent the people most likely to be affected by poaching and rural crime and as such are best placed to assist the police in dealing with it. The group provides an ideal platform for these organisations to work in partnership with NWCU staff and serving police officers on developing new strategies and initiatives to tackle rural crime.

Project Poacher is made up of two key elements; advice and support for law enforcers and a free, easy to use app for reporting poaching incidents.

The app is available to download at

Project Poacher will continue to coordinate action across England and Wales through:
Prevention – offering best advice to farmers, landowners, gamekeepers, shooting and land management organisations regarding measures to put in place to prevent poaching and disruption mechanisms
Intelligence – to allow the police to target offenders
Enforcement – with good intelligence the police can target poachers through the various rural and poaching based operations run throughout England and Wales
Reassurance – by working together and by publicising resulting actions such as activity, arrests, seizures and convictions.

What to do if you have poachers on your land
If you see or are aware of poachers on your land/permission and want them off, call the police. Only you can decide whether this is a 999 or a 101 call (101 is the non-emergency number to report incidents). If you are being threatened or damage is being caused, then that is urgent and 999 should be used. Give the call taker as much information as you have, such as vehicles used, how many offenders, do they have firearms, etc.  Also you will need to give as good a location as you can, especially at night.  However, the most important thing is to get an incident or log number for what you are reporting.
You might be told that there is nobody to send immediately, but insist on the incident/log number. Ask for the incident to be forwarded to the Wildlife Crime Officer and the local beat officer. It is a good idea to do this whether police attend or not.  Tell the call taker that this is a wildlife crime and needs to be recorded as such. This last point makes it easier to monitor the number of poaching offences and, hence, the true picture will emerge.

Emails / links / downloads

Link: Download the app here

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